Farmer to farmer workshop: Selling local meat. May 9, 2014
John Canaan Hastings Prince Edward Counties Health Unit, Pierre Adrien , Area Manager, Food Inspection Branch OMAFRA and and Seena Suri, Food Inspection Branch OMAFRA
John Canaan said no one can sell uninspected meat or unpasteurized milk in Ontario.  One can only sell ungraded eggs at the farm gate. Restaurants cannot buy ungraded eggs. Grading has to be done by a certified grading station. Grading looks for cracks, blood spots, the size and quality of eggs. There are Grades A, B, and C eggs. Grade C eggs are cracked and can only be used for different products. Chickens raised on the farm can be sold at the farm gate but cannot be sold at farmers‘ markets. has good information about regulations relating to the small-scale producer of chickens and eggs. When one orders hens or meat birds one has to register as a small-scale producer. One can have up to 100 laying birds and 300 meat birds at any one location. One can sell ungraded eggs at the farm gate and chicken at the farm gate, but one cannot sell ungraded eggs or chicken at a farmers’ market. Restaurants have to keep receipts for a year of where they buy products. John Canaan said if they see ungraded eggs and suspect there is a health hazard from eggs being sold at a farmers’ market they contact the Egg Marketing Board.
 The health Unit runs a safe food-handling course primarily designed for restaurants. They can put on a modified courser or condensed version. The full certification lasts for five years and costs $35.
 The inspector found meat being sold by someone who was not able to show a copy of the receipt for where it was processed. The Health Unit needs to see receipts, so that know the meat was processed at an inspected facility. Receipts show the health inspector where the meat was processed.
 The health unit inspects premises depending on the scale of risk. They will inspect premises providing food for seniors or day care more often as these are vulnerable populations.
 The health unit aims to keep things simple it does not distinguish between different types of markets.
 There are three levels of government involved in food safety
  Federal, provincial and municipal
The Nation Program is concerned with export between provinces within Canada and with export out of Canada. The province is concerned with meat in Ontario and aims to keep food safety risks to a minimum.
Make sure a facility is in compliance with the regulations. Meat processed in provincial plants cannot be marketed across provinces.
 The federal meat plants has food safety programs in Place HACCP certification  Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point approach is systematic and preventative
 It helps to find, correct, and prevent hazards throughout the production process. These include physical, chemical, and biological hazards. Food labeling.
Provincial abattoirs work to a risk based perspective, which isn’t as rigorous a HACCP
 There isn’t a plan to make HACCP mandatory, if one meets the requirement for provincial inspection is not such a leap to get HACCP certification 33 federally inspected abattoirs dealing with 80 per cent of animals.
 If a provincially inspected abattoir wishes to become HACCP certified they can get support from Growing Forward 2.
Retails stores need to review their policies. Independent stores can sell meat for provincially inspected abattoirs.
An abattoir can request the grading services of a provincial inspector. The Canadian Beef Grading Agency teaches both provincial and federal inspectors. The cost could be split between the abattoir and the farmers.
2.     Questions on Grading
 If one wants to sell good quality beef one needs to have it graded or build a close customer relationship.
Seena Suri sent this information. If a farmer is interested in getting his/her animals graded, they may contact the following organizations to request this service.
 Canadian Beef Grading Agency – Phone: (613) 225-2342 or (403) 274-0301. Web:

Ontario Contact: Gary Hasson, Regional Standards Supervisor – Phone: 519 -835-1312

Ontario Pork Grading Authority

Contact Name: Dan Bazinet. Phone: 416-706-8132/Email:

Alternatively, the provincially licensed meat plant that is interested in grading the animal  for the farmer may also contact their OMAF Area Manager to facilitate this service. In this scenario, the Area Manager will contact the appropriate grading agency (above contacts) to facilitate this service through OMAF inspectors who are trained to grade pigs, veal and beef.
An abattoir can provide a beef grading services by asking for it.
Meat leaving abattoir, as a dressed carcass is low risk
 Amendment of regulations for meat products does not apply if meat is 32% or lower.
Transportation standards for injured animals need a certificate from the vet
 Labeling meat
 Meat regulation 310: pre packaged meat needs to be fully labeled. A bulk container needs to be labeled
 The box needs to be fully labeled and then the farm can label individual pieces
Custom pack of meat for personal consumption or sale from the farm gate or farmers market also needs to be labeled.
 If one sells a processed meat product it needs a list of ingredients.
 CFIA has requirements on what they put on labels.
 When selling quarter or a half a carcase direct to customer, the carcase needs to be stamped that it has been inspected. Chicken and rabbits have a tag. One can’t labels meat as to quality without meeting CFIA standards For example bacon has to have salt, preservative and be made from fresh pork belly. There are federal labeling guidelines. If something is not fully cooked it has to be labeled uncooked with cooking instructions.
Products in Canada have to be bilingual labeling.  Local now means the whole of Ontario.
 Frozen Meat needs to be maintained in a frozen state during transportation.
 An inspector looks for any sign of disease if there are any lesions and various other things these can cause the meat to be condemned.
 Animals can be slaughtered on the farm but the meat cannot be sold.
 Hunted game cannot be sold. Hunted game does not have to be inspected.
There are different regulations for a licensed trapper.
Trappers (3) Despite subsection (1)’s requirement for a licence, the holder of a licence to trap furbearing mammals may, without any other licence, sell all or part of the carcass of a furbearing mammal trapped by or on behalf of the holder of the licence, including the pelt.
 For more information please read the attached files or contact Pierre Adrien at pierre.adrien or Seena Suri 


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